Cindi Lofton had left the world of counseling behind.
A graduate of Delta State University, she had become a successful pharmaceutical representative, with a territory that stretched from Port Gibson to Olive Branch.
The pay was good, and the perks were even better.
Then tragedy struck in the fall of 2007, when her father and Shaw business owner Alfred Quong was killed at his Leadway store in a double murder by a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old.
Now the executive director of Community Counseling Center - based in Greenville with offices in Indianola and Cleveland - Lofton is more dedicated than ever before to bring counseling services to the people in the Delta.
When she spoke to the Indianola Rotary Club in May, she dedicated her presentation to the memory of her friend, Jamie Iverson, who was murdered in her downtown Indianola business in late April.
“My family suffered sort of the same fate that the Iversons suffered when my father was murdered,” Lofton said.
When her father was murdered, Lofton said she struggled with the direction God was pulling her in.
“While I was having a grand time calling on my physicians from Port Gibson to Olive Branch, the good Lord said this is not for you,” she said. “After arguing senselessly with the Lord about why I could not leave that job, because it paid so well, and I just could not go back to a nonprofit counseling salary, of course I lost and I knew it was the right thing to do.”
Lofton went back to shore up her hours to become credentialed again, and she not only finds joy in running the center, she also enjoys being a hands-on counselor.
“When I went back to counseling, I began working with the Greenville school district on a volunteer basis through one of their programs,” she said.
Lofton said she began working with kids within the district, and one in particular, who was 13 when she began, recently turned 21, moved to Texas and has a good job.
“Just that venture of not being afraid and trying to do something positive, I hope and feel like it’s led to some positive things,” Lofton said.
CCC is an organization that was founded in 1986 by a pair of Greenville ministers who were operating a food pantry, Lofton said.
“And while they were feeding people, they realized they had other needs, emotional needs,” she said. “They started doing counseling out of the back of this food store in Greenville.”
Lofton said that many of their clients were driving to Greenville from different parts of the Delta, including Indianola, which led CCC to open an office here.
“The reason we opened an office here in Indianola is because there were so many people who drove from Greenwood or Indianola, Humphreys County and all through this area to come to Greenville to see us,” she said. “And that was an awfully long way, so we decided we needed to make it more convenient.”
Over the past year, COVID-19 has really taken its toll on the mental health of a lot of patients in the Delta, she said.
CCC is focused on helping in areas like depression and anxiety, family counseling, anger management, grief counseling, parenting skills, compulsive and addictive behaviors and much more.
Those wishing to make an appointment with CCC may call 662-332-1819.